MY PLANT BASED VEGAN DIET

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW AND A LITTLE BIT MORE

Veganism is not about giving anything up or losing anything; it is about gaining the peace within yourself that comes from embracing nonviolence and refusing to participate in the exploitation of the vulnerable
— GARY L. FRANCIONE

THE WHY

This way of eating is not a diet. In my eyes it is not eccentric or over dramatic. It is not compulsive or annoying. A diet free of all animal products and by products, based primarily on whole plant based foods is compassion, knowledge, truthfulness, sustainability and hope for a better future for generations (of both humans and animals) to come. 

Undoubtly, my passion for veganism grew immensely upon my move to O'ahu. Within my first few weeks here on island I was introduced by my kumu (professor) to a Hawaiian proverb that cultivated strongly within me. "Aloha mai no, aloha aku; o ka huhu ka mea e ola `ole ai." He had us repeat together as a class in my first week of school. And then again once more. After doing my research ( I still have difficulty pronouncing half of the street names on this island) I was able to generally translate this to

When love is given, love should be returned;
anger is the thing that gives no life.

Hawaiians are known for transforming and living through the power of the aloha spirit. Here on the islands, Aloha spirit is the attitude of acceptance and love. However, "aloha" also refers to a way to resolve a problem, or accomplish a goal, or to achieve a state of mind and body that you strongly desire. Here on the islands, it was clear to me how much pride the Hawaiians took in the 'aina (land), their families and Papa (Mother Earth.) The more time I spent here, the more I wanted to express my own gratitude and acceptance towards myself and others. 
So, initially, I began to cleanse myself physically and emotionally before all else. 

I aspired to cleanse my life of emotional upset, which in turn was impairing my mental, physical, and spiritual well-being, as well as any physical upset my body and mind contained. I no longer wanted any portion of my life to contribute to the hurt, abuse, negativity or pain of others. I no longer wanted to support a cause that was both unnecessary and toxic to my own life, and the lives of so many others. Yes, toxic.  I reminded myself frequently "anger is the thing that gives no life." I made a pact that I would no longer show anger or violence towards any other living being in my life.  I recognized that if I wanted to prosper in this lifetime, it would not be possible if I continued to carry out a lifestyle that was based around confinement and restraint. By consuming animal products, I was not only supporting the corporate bullying of the meat, dairy and pharmaceutical industry, I was supporting a lifestyle that went against everything I loved about my life here in Hawai'i. It was a rude awakening at first, but I encouraged myself to wrap my head around it - I  was contributing to pain, fear and abuse for millions of animals each day due to the demand created by my own (and many other's) consumption. Consuming animal products was (and is) in no way whatsoever healthful or propitious to my own divine self. 

 I am vegan because I am a lover, an activist, a reader, a pacifist, a sentiment being and an advocate.

 I think, therefore I am vegan.

 

My aim when sharing this message with you all is to encourage you to be the creators of your own life. Question what does not align with your core beliefs and morals. Practice compassion, kindness and oneness.

If we stop consuming, they will stop producing. Only collective awakening can create enough determination for action.
— THICH NAHT HANH
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Intellectually, human beings and animals may be different, but it’s pretty obvious that animals have a rich emotional life and that they feel joy and pain. It’s easy to forget the connection between a hamburger and the cow it came from. But I forced myself to acknowledge the fact that every time I ate a hamburger, a cow had ceased to breathe.
— MOBY
If you are not vegan, please consider going vegan. It’s a matter of nonviolence. Being vegan is your statement that you reject violence to other sentient beings, to yourself, and to the environment, on which all sentient beings depend
— GARY L. FRANCIONE
Perhaps in the back of our minds we already understand, without all the science I’ve discussed, that something terribly wrong is happening. Our sustenance now comes from misery. We know that if someone offers to show us a film on how our meat is produced, it will be a horror film. We perhaps know more than we care to admit, keeping it down in the dark places of our memory— disavowed. When we eat factory-farmed meat we live, literally, on tortured flesh. Increasingly, that tortured flesh is becoming our own.
— JOHNATHAN SAFRAN
I became a vegan the day I watched a video of a calf being born on a factory farm. The baby was dragged away from his mother before he hit the ground. The helpless calf strained its head backwards to find his mother. The mother bolted after her son and exploded into a rage when the rancher slammed the gate on her. She wailed the saddest noise I’d ever heard an animal make, and then thrashed and ...dug into the ground, burying her face in the muddy placenta. I had no idea what was happening respecting brain chemistry, animal instinct, or whatever. I just knew that this was deeply wrong. I just knew that such suffering could never be worth the taste of milk and veal. I empathized with the cow and the calf and, in so doing, my life changed.
— JAMES McWILLIAMS